From breadsticks to fresh fruit, you agree that everything tastes better dipped in chocolate, right? Chocolate dipped foods are gorgeous enough to impress your sweetie or your guests and easy enough to make for your kids. Here’s few ideas to turn the most basic ingredients into goodies worthy of a real gourmet chocolate shop!
Dip worthy ingredients
Strawberries are certainly a favorite for lot of people (check this dipped strawberries recipe, you’ll see what we mean), but don’t overlook these great alternatives.
- Grape clusters, Lady apples, kumquats, clementine segments
- Dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit chips
- Large coconut flakes
- Saltines, crackers, breadsticks
- Shortbread cookies
- Pita chips, potato chips, pretzels
- Vegetable chips
4 tips for success
1. Choose only fresh ingredients: Purchase your fruit not to long before dipping time, and ensure the freshness of other dippers. You don’t want your friends to bite into a stale chocolate covered croissant! Use fresh chocolate that you have stored in a cool and dry place. Old chocolate has most likely lost its temper and could be difficult to work with.
2. Prep dippers first: These sweet sauces cannot be made ahead or remelted/reheated without affecting the taste or texture. So before making them, have your equipment and dippers ready to go.
3. Make sure everything is perfectly clean, dry, and at room temperature: Dust (even from cookies or cake crumbs) can keep chocolate from drying to a smooth and glossy finish. Water is an enemy because chocolate seizes up and turns grainy when in contact with water. Bring all foods to room temperature before dipping.
4. Coat just halfway: Chocolate dipping is a matter of contrast and textures, so you must keep the best of both world… Plus it prevents your fingers from getting covered in chocolate.
How to temper chocolate
Dipping is not just heating chocolate like you would do with butter in the microwave. Tempering is the process of melting chocolate to make it reach a specific temperature, ideal to coat food evenly, with a glossy finish.
This process looks a bit complicated, but it’s really not. You’ll need a instant cooking thermometer. Using a double boiler, melt 2/3 of crushed chocolate and bring it at 115°F (46°C), stirring regularly. When that point is reached, remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 of crushed chocolate. This will bring temperature down to 84°F (29°C) progressively. Once this temperature is reached, remove the chocolate pieces that are not melt, if any. Reheat quickly to get a 90°F final temp.
Why not adding flavor and texture to these delicate treats by sprinkling them with fragrant additions like:
- Grated citrus zest
- Instant coffee granules
- Toasted coconut
- Ground nuts
- Crushed peppermint candy
- Cocoa nibs
- Cocoa powder
- Ground cinnamon
Sprinkle this secret ingredient quickly before the chocolate coating has completely set.